Title: Letters from My Father’s Murderer
Author: Laurie A. Coombs
My rating is 4 stars out of 5.
As I read the book, I was reminded of the recent tragedy in South Carolina and how the decision of one person can change so many lives in the blink of an eye. I am awed by how Laurie is so transparent in her journey to forgive the man who took her father’s life. Her book I am sure doesn’t share all that happened, but there is enough to give readers a glimpse into the aftermath of a life taken, and another forever behind bars.
Laurie shares how God led her to begin communicating with her father’s killer and how she thought if her questions were answered, she would have peace. What Laurie learned and shares is what truly brought her peace. I admire her husband who gave her time to work through the grief, pain and more throughout the years after her father’s death.
When I read, it was easy to see how only God could make a way to bring two totally different viewpoints, Laurie’s and Tony's, the man who committed the crime, to a place of peace. Readers will see how God is so much bigger than tragedy, pain, anger and more to radically make something good come out of an evil act. Perhaps, like me, as you read you might remember other tragedies where people were killed due to the evil acts of others. I know I thought of those in the South Carolina church who were recently killed by a young man and yet in court each family spokesman got up and forgave that young man. Not only that, some said they were praying for him. What a testimony to the awesomeness of God for them to be able to do that in the depth if grief!
Situations like Laurie Coombs' father or South Caroline bring all of us to a place of seeing the victims as part of what Hebrews 11 calls the “cloud of witnesses”. These people reflect to a hurting, broken and sin-filled world that God is indeed on the throne. If we open our hearts, He alone can reach into the depths of our pain, bringing healing, peace and hope.
One last thought about Laurie’s book is it shows there is no magic wand; it takes time and hard work to go before the Lord again and again with an open and willing heart to be healed. Not just healed, but to know what the Lord’s desire is for those who walk through the fire and come out a different person.
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